We understand that one of the biggest problems in a legal dispute is maintaining control of the legal costs and expenses.
At the outset, we will provide you with our best estimate of the likely costs associated with pursuing, or defending, a claim. If appropriate we will break the process down into stages, showing you the various stages of the dispute and the legal costs likely to be associated with each stage. We will keep the estimate under review as the dispute progresses so that you know as soon as possible if the underlying circumstances of your dispute change and our estimate needs to be amended.
Having this information at an early stage enables you to plan your strategy in advance and make informed tactical decisions as the dispute progresses.
The Court rules emphasis that cases must be dealt with justly and at proportionate cost. This reinforces the importance of budgeting.
Funding Your Dispute
The type of funding arrangement will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. Some of the options are in basic terms detailed below.
We will assess your prospects of success at an early stage and we will advise you if we consider your case would be suitable for an alternative method of funding.
Legal Expenses Insurance
You may have such cover (please check your Home Insurance or Business Insurance Policies) and this maybe available to cover the cost of your dispute but may not be sufficient to see a case through or cover the type of dispute you are involved in. You are able to look to determine which firm of Solicitors you wish to instruct under it despite what you maybe informed.
If your dispute is in its early stages and Court proceedings have not been issued, we may agree to act on a "contingency fee" basis. This means that if we recover any damages from the other side on your behalf, we will take an agreed percentage of those damages as our fee. If we do not recover any damages for you, you pay nothing.
One type of contingency fee agreement is damages based agreement. If you recover damages from the other side, you agree to pay us a share of up to 50% (assuming the case is not an employment case in which case it 35%) of any damages received. This is to represent our fee.
If you lose, you only pay us the expenses incurred during the case, such as expenses including Barrister fees and administrative costs.
If you win, the costs, which can be recovered from the losing party, will be capped at the amount of damages which it has been agreed we would receive.
Conditional Fee Agreement
If we feel your case has good prospects of success, we may offer to share the risk of the litigation with you through a conditional fee agreement ("CFA"). This means that we will agree to discount our fees by a certain percentage for all or part of the case.
(i) CFA's entered into BEFORE 1 April 2013
If we then achieve what we have agreed is a 'successful outcome' in the case, we are entitled to charge our undiscounted rates (“base costs”) plus a percentage success fee. The bulk of these charges are normally recoverable from the losing party. For this reason, a CFA puts more pressure on the other side by increasing their potential costs exposure.
If you lose the case, all you will pay us is our discounted hourly rates for the work that we have undertaken on your behalf.
(ii) CFA's entered into AFTER 1 April 2013
The success fee is no longer recoverable from the other side but will be recoverable from you as the client. The base costs are still recoverable from the other side.
If you lose, you will pay us a discounted rate.
After The Event Insurance
After the Event insurance or "ATE" is an insurance policy that covers you in the event that you are found to be liable for your opponent's legal costs and expenses if you lose.
Prior to 1 April 2013, if you win the case, the premium for the insurance policy is usually recoverable from the losing party. After 1 April 2013 the premium will be recoverable from you.
This sort of insurance policy is normally coupled with a CFA in order to protect you against the Court ordering you to pay the other side's costs, if you lose the case. We can help you find the appropriate cover, if such is available.
Third Party Funding
A third party funder will fund all of the costs and expenses associated with a dispute. Potentially, you could pay no legal costs or expenses, even if you lose. The funder will, however, expect a share of your damages if you win.
Privately Paying/Fixed Fees
If none of the above are appropriate for you or us then we can agree the hourly rate for the dispute and / or agree fixed prices for certain stages in the process.